On Monday, March 20 Morningside College hosted a viewing of the movie Selma with a panel discussion to follow. Participating in the panel were three Morningside alumni who participated in the Selma March in some way. One marched the entire way, another marched part of it, and the other helped in voter registration efforts. Hearing what they had to say was an experience that I will cherish. Them coming and telling us what it was like was amazing. And it was something that I think a lot of us needed to hear.
With recent events many of us, both on Morningside's campus and off, have become politically involved. Many of us participated in the Women's March, and I will participate in the March For Science in Des Moines, Iowa on April 22. The one thing that they talked about was the sense of unity that they felt. And how over the years they saw that their involvement was part of a bigger movement. But there is one thing that stuck with me.
One of the participants in the panel is from Des Moines, Iowa which has recently had an Islamic Center receive a threatening letter. You can read the story from the Des Moines Register here, but as a religious studies major I had to ask how she felt about it. Her response was, "Hate is hate."
That phrase, "hate is hate," has stuck with me all night. She's right, hate is hate. And it is with the same hate that we fight against those who believe the misconceptions of the Islamic faith. Hate is hate. It is all the same. All of it. Hate for different faiths, hate for people of different sexualities, races, and nations. It is all the same.
I pray that the violence that happened during the civil rights movement never returns, though I wonder if it is the violence that occurred that got the movement the attention that it did. While needless to say that many Jewish and Muslim communities receive threats daily they do not get national news attention. Why? Is it because people aren't being physically hurt? Is it because people aren't being beaten, just threatened? I mean, I know America likes the blood and fighting in it's movies, but is that really the only thing that can get our attention?
So, to those of you who supported the civil rights movement and Dr. King back in the 60's yet don't understand why we are speaking out today, I ask that you look at the situation again. Because the same hate you are fighting against is the same hate you are now showing to another community. Let's be real folks, the hate that our country is experiencing now is the same hate that was around back then. No matter the century, no matter the movement. The hate is all the same.
If you could support a movement then, ones fighting for equality and freedom, but cannot support any now, you have some serious soul searching to do. Because I would hate for the same hate you fought against to be the same hate you developed towards a different group of people.